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      "'Mon crime vritable est d'avoir aujourd'hui


      CHAPTER VII.


      [6] Denonville Dongan, 2 Oct., 1687. McGregory soon arrived, and Dongan sent him back to Canada as an emissary with a civil message to Denonville. Dongan to Denonville, 10 Nov., 1687.[749] Amherst to Pitt, 22 Oct. 1759. Rogers, Journals, 144.

      THE BRINK OF RUIN.

      [693] Vaudreuil au Ministre, 8 Avril, 1759. The Mmoires sur le Canada, 1749-1760, says 15,229 effective men.Nothing saved them from destruction but the failure of the French at La Prairie to follow their retreat, and thus enclose them between two fires. They did so, it is true, at the eleventh hour, but not till the fight was over and the English were gone. The Christian Mohawks of the Saut also appeared in the afternoon, and set out to pursue the enemy, but seem to have taken care not to overtake them; for the English Mohawks were their relatives, and they had no wish for their scalps. Frontenac was angry at their conduct; and, as he rarely lost an opportunity to find fault with the Jesuits, he laid the blame on the fathers in charge of the mission, whom he sharply upbraided for the shortcomings of their flock. [7]


      [869] Beatson, II. 438.

      Duchesneau, in return, protests all manner of deference to the governor, but still insists that he sets the royal edicts at naught; protects a host of coureurs de bois who are in league with him; corresponds with Du Lhut, their chief; shares his illegal profits, and causes all the disorders which afflict the colony. "As for me, Monseigneur, I have done every thing within the scope of my office to prevent these evils; but all the pains I have taken 57 have only served to increase the aversion of Monsieur the governor against me, and to bring my ordinances into contempt. This, Monseigneur, is a true account of the disobedience of the coureurs de bois, of which I twice had the honor to speak to Monsieur the governor; and I could not help telling him, with all possible deference, that it was shameful to the colony and to us that the king, our master, of whom the whole world stands in awe, who has just given law to all Europe, and whom all his subjects adore, should have the pain of knowing that, in a country which has received so many marks of his paternal tenderness, his orders are violated and scorned; and a governor and an intendant stand by, with folded arms, content with saying that the evil is past remedy. For having made these representations to him, I drew on myself words so full of contempt and insult that I was forced to leave his room to appease his anger. The next morning I went to him again, and did all I could to have my ordinances executed; but, as Monsieur the governor is interested with many of the coureurs de bois, it is useless to attempt to do any thing. He has gradually made himself master of the trade of Montreal; and, as soon as the Indians arrive, he sets guards in their camp, which would be very well, if these soldiers did their duty and protected the savages from being annoyed and plundered by the French, instead of being employed to discover how many furs they have brought, with a view to future operations. Monsieur the governor then compels 58 the Indians to pay his guards for protecting them; and he has never allowed them to trade with the inhabitants till they had first given him a certain number of packs of beaver skins, which he calls his presents. His guards trade with them openly at the fair, with their bandoleers on their shoulders."

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      The chance was small that this letter would reach its destination; and in fact the bearer was killed by La Corne's Indians, who, in stripping the body, found the hidden paper, and carried it to the General. Montcalm kept it several days, till the English rampart was half battered down; and then, after saluting his enemy with a volley from all his cannon, he sent it with a graceful compliment to Monro. It was Bougainville who carried it, preceded by a drummer and a flag. He was met at the foot of the glacis, blindfolded, and led through the fort and along the edge of the lake to the entrenched camp, where Monro was at the time. "He returned many thanks," writes the emissary in his Diary, "for the courtesy of our nation, and protested his joy at having to do with so generous an enemy. This was his answer to the Marquis de Montcalm. Then they led me back, always with eyes blinded; and our batteries began to fire again as soon as we thought that the English grenadiers who escorted me had had time to re-enter the fort. I hope General Webb's letter may induce the English to surrender the sooner." [516] Le Ber. This is a most elaborate and eulogistic life of the

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      [305] Dieskau Vaudreuil, 1 Sept. 1755.


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